Gooey Gnocchi

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Put 2 unpeeled large Russet potatoes in a large pot. Fill the pot with enough water to cover the potatoes by at least two inches and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium, partially cover the pot and simmer the potatoes until they are completely tender and easily pierced, about 35 minutes. Drain the potatoes and allow them to cool to the point that you can handle them. Peel. Cut in half crosswise and pass through a potato ricer into a large bowl. Let cool until almost at room temperature.

Flour a flat surface. To the potatoes, add one egg, 1/2 bar of cream cheese, 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1 1/2 cups flour. Mix with your hands until it starts to clump together. Press against the bottom of the bowl until you have a uniform mass. Transfer to floured surface and knead by hand for about 30 seconds. Tear off a portion and roll out into a rope. Cut every 3/4″ to make individual gnocchi. Drop into boiling salted water. When it rises to the top, it’s done!

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Griessbandnudeln

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Don’t worry, I can’t pronounce that either.

In a bowl, use a mixer to combine 3 cups of semolina flour, 3 eggs, 1/2 cup water, and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Mix until the dough comes together, about 2-3 minutes. Continue mixing at a slightly faster speed until the ingredients are thoroughly combined and a tight dough ball forms.

Remove the dough from the bowl, wrap in plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for one hour.

Fill a large pot with heavily salted water and bring to a rolling boil. Float a couple tablespoons of olive oil on the surface.

Lightly dust a flat surface with semolina flour. Unwrap the dough and divide into four roughly equal portions. Roll one portion to approximately 1/4″ thick. Use a pizza roller or cookie cutter to cut diamonds or shapes out of your dough.

Drop the noodles into the boiling water. Bring up through the olive oil a couple of times, and cook 4-5 minutes or until tender. Drain and serve as desired.

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Fancy Dessert Can Still Taste Like Childhood

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There’s no way to describe Panna Cotta except as milk jello. And that is not appetizing to people, apparently. This, however, tastes exactly like childhood. I used my favorite childhood cereal and regret nothing. Graham is eagerly awaiting a version that uses Blueberry Toast Crunch. The process is the same no matter which cereal you use. Make it taste like your childhood, then tell me all about it.

Begin by soaking 2 cups of your favorite cereal with 2 cups of heavy whipping cream and 1 cup milk (almond works well here, too). You want this to sit for at least 15 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine 1/3 cup milk with one envelope of gelatin mix. Stir well.

When your cereal milk has soaked up all that good flavor, strain and pour liquid into a saucepan set to medium heat. Add 1/2 cup sugar and bring to a boil. Stay close when this milk mixture is on the heat. Add gelatin-milk mix and stir until incorporated. Cook for 1 minute then remove from heat and stir in 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla.

Pour mixture into ramekins, glass containers or silicone muffin pans. I sprinkled a few fruity pebbles into each serving while it began to set. Let panna cotta come to room temperature naturally, then move to fridge to cool for at least 4 hours. Serve without saying the words “milk jello.”

 

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Pillowy Pretzels and Better than Pub Cheese

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Sometimes you just need a cloud of a pretzel and a gooey cheese in your life. May this fill that need. I recommend starting the pretzels first, prepping the cheese ingredients while the dough proofs, then beginning to heat the cheese ingredients when the pretzels go into the oven. That should get your pretzels and cheese done at just about the same time.

Pretzels:

Combine 1 1/2 cups room temperature water, 1 tablespoon sugar, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, and 2 1/4 teaspoons of active dry yeast (1 packet) in a large bowl. Let sit 10 minutes to give the yeast a chance to wake up. Add 4 1/2 cups flour, and 4 tablespoons of melted salted butter and mix until thoroughly combined. Remove to a lightly floured surface to knead by hand or by stand mixer, approximately 5 minutes. If the dough is too wet, dust a tablespoon of flour over it and knead in. You want the dough to pull away from the sides of a bowl or from your hands easily.

Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover. Let rise in a warm room or atop a heating pad set to warm for about an hour, or until dough has about doubled in size.

When dough has doubled, divide into about 12 even pieces and roll into a ball. Separately, beat one egg and a tablespoon of water together for an egg wash.

Bring 5 cups of water and 1/3 cup baking soda to a rolling boil in a pot. Boil each dough ball approximately 40 seconds in the mixture, then remove to a parchment or silicone covered sheet pan. Brush dough balls with egg wash. Top with large grain kosher salt or pretzel salt. Bake about 15 minutes at 450 degrees, or until pretzels are dark golden brown. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool about five minutes.

Chipotle Cheese Sauce:

Start with a 2-cup bag of shredded cheddar cheese and add 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. Zip the bag shut and shake to coat the cheese with the cornstarch. Pour this into a non-stick frying pan along with one 12 ounce can of evaporated milk. It’s really important to get evaporated and not condensed milk. Begin to melt together over medium heat. Use a blender to blend three chipotle peppers and two tablespoons of liquid from a can of chipotle chiles in adobo sauce. Pour this into your cheese and evaporated milk mixture. Add 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. You can also use mild green chiles or diced jalapenos if you’re not a fan of chipotle. Continue mixing together over medium heat until the cheese has melted. Serve hot.

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Roasted Garlic and Chipotle Sauce

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Roast four heads of garlic (instructions available here). When cooled, remove roasted cloves. In a food processor, combine roasted garlic, 1 can of chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, zest of two limes, juice of one lime, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon onion powder, and 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme. Pulse to combine.

This recipe is incredibly easy but the flavor payoff is equally incredible. Because the canned chipotles are pretty mild, this isn’t spicy- just flavorful! I like to use it on the roast chicken, but it tastes amazing on eggs and most savory foods. I’m drizzling the leftover sauce over nachos tonight!

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Controversial California Clam Chowder

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Listen, here’s the thing. I know there are some ingredients you wouldn’t find in clam chowder very often. Like goldfish crackers and Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning. I also know you usually would cook this with fresh clams, but I like the smoked flavor you can get from tinned clams and that you don’t have to fight anyone to rinse off sand. So if I acknowledge that this could be controversial and label it as Californian, perhaps I won’t offend diehard New England chowder aficionados.

First, we make a roux. Melt two tablespoon butter in a small pan then add in two tablespoons of flour. Allow to cook for about five minutes over medium-low heat. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a large soup pot, heat 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add 1 large diced onion, 3 finely sliced stalks of celery, one finely diced leek, greens removed, 1/4 cup minced garlic, 3 bay leaves, one large carrot, peeled and shredded, 1 russet potato, washed, peeled, and diced, 4 strips of cooked and diced bacon, and 1 teaspoon dried thyme. Stir frequently and allow vegetables to soften, about five minutes. Add 1 3/4 cup half and half and 2 tins smoked baby clams. Cook until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add 2 cups clam juice (two 8 oz. bottles). Cook 15-20 minutes, then stir in roux. Cook at a gentle simmer for an additional 15 minutes. Finally, remove bay leaves and stir in 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 2 teaspoons Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning.

Pour into bowls and top with Goldfish crackers in lieu of oyster crackers. Trust me.

 

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